Designing a pathway

As well as exploring a number of pre-loaded example pathways, which are available at the top right corner of the page, you can design your own pathway. There are many ways to do this, but here is one way:

  • Start by setting the lifestyle levers using the panel on the left to decide how you want people to live in the future – take each lever in turn and try clicking level 1, then level 4, and see the difference they make. As you go through the travel and homes sectors, you can dig deeper by clicking on the sector-specific tabs at the top of the page. Here you will find out more about the impact your choices are making. For diet levers, try looking at the land and food tab to see how land use is affected. Overall, look at the lifestyle tab and compare how people live in 2011 and 2050.
  • Now you can move onto the technology and fuels levers in the middle. Do you want to use electric cars? How do you want to heat and cool buildings? Do you want to increase the efficiency of industry? How do you want to generate electricity? You can click on the electricity section within the technology and fuels tab to view more detail about the electricity mix and the installed capacity.
  • The levers on the right are about land, food and demographics. By changing patterns of land use, bioenergy production and agricultural efficiency, you can make a big impact on the pattern of land use globally. Look at the land and food tab to see the effect of the levers. The population and urbanisation levers allow you to see the impact of different future population estimates on emissions, and how development could have an effect.
  • The last lever allows you to choose how you want emissions to change between 2050 and 2100, which has an impact on the climate in 2100. Level 1 assumes a flattening of emissions after 2050, while level 4 assumes that emissions continue to fall at broadly the same rate as the average change between 2035 and 2050.
  • Don't forget to check the warnings at the right of the screen. If any are red, you may want to change your choices. Scroll over the warning for more details.

If you would like to input a pathway from another model into the Global Calculator, please read our guide:

Explore different visions of the future from the Calculator team, other models and other organisations.

Find out how you can use the tool or contact the Calculator team.